Romania, Romania, Romania! When it comes to this country, I have so many good things and few bad things to say. The country is beautiful, has a fascinating history, and its people are some the best I’ve met. If you want to know about the bad, well check out what I have to say here. One of my favorite and most cherished experiences while I explored Northern Romania was visiting the small village of Sibiel. This village is located a short drive from the city of Sibiu and boasts a few off-the-beaten path museums and authentic village culture…and a delicious pear cake! But more about that in a minute.
While there, I had the opportunity to participate in a Romanian village wedding so I jumped at it. I dressed in a traditional Romanian outfit and experienced every aspect of the wedding. It was an incredible experience that you can read more about in My Big Fat Romanian Wedding Experience. During the wedding, there was celebratory music, copious amounts of wine, and a bounty of food. And I’ll be honest, Romanian food often leaves a lot to be desired, in my opinion. That being said, there are a few things that I absolutely loved including Ciorba (sour soup), Zacusca (delicious spread), and Pear Cake. I have the Romanian Pear Cake recipe here for you! So you can make your very own pear cake at home.
First of all, let me be clear, I’m not really a cake kind of guy. Usually if there is cake, I won’t have any. I always find it to be too dry and boring. However, during the wedding I realized it is offensive to not consume the food I was offered barring any allergies. So I had the pear cake and it might have changed my life. I’m definitely a pear-cake-kind-of-guy! Romanian Pear cake is simple using very basic ingredients but the flavor is just comforting and lovely. The Romanian from whom I collected this pear cake recipe described the cake as having the taste and aromas of the end of Summer and beginning of Autumn. That poetic description is spot on. I probably ate my body weight in Pear Cake washing it down with delicious homemade wine.
Funny side note: Translating this pear cake recipe was no simple task. Just look at the first translation given to me.
I don’t know about you but I don’t tend to add chicken to my cakes and certainly don’t sweep anything while baking. Needless to say, it took some effort to make this pear cake recipe legible for all of you! This pear cake is made across Romania as a simple treat to make for people. It’s a quick recipe that can be made with what you have available at home which is why it is so popular in Romania. If you don’t like pears, substitute them with your favorite fruit. I suggest sour cherries, apples, or apricots.
Now you can make this pear cake at home for your family and friends. Get a sweet taste of Romania without traveling half way across the world!
Ever considered taking a cooking class during a trip? Well, find out why you should take a cooking class on your next trip!
Romanian Pear Cake
Oil or butter for greasing pan
4 pears, peeled and cored
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of sugar
Zest from one lemon
3/4 cup of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 cups of all purpose flour
Powdered sugar for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch baking pan. Set aside.
Slice the pears into wedges or slice length wise, whatever you prefer. Set aside.
Separate the yolks from the egg whites. Whisk the egg whites with the salt until they form a light foam. Slowly mix in the sugar until it is blended. Add the lemon zest and whisk until a thick foam forms.
Mix yolks with the oil, vanilla extract, and baking soda until blended thick. Whisk the yolk mixture into the egg whites mixture slowly until blended.
Stir in the batter just until incorporated. Fold in the pears.
Pour the batter into the baking pan. Try to ensure the pears are covered with batter. Tap the pan to eliminate air bubbles.
Place the pan in preheated oven and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly. Garnish the cake by sprinkling powdered sugar over the top.
If you’re looking for something to make for dinner, try Hungarian Goulash!
Head off the beaten bath in Bucovina, Romania!
How about it? Give this a recipe a try and tell me what you think in the comments below!
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